Customer Experience: The Key To Customer Retention

No matter what type of business you run, enhancing your customer experience can increase customer retention. That is why many businesses invest in customer experience. 

And as per a study, 33% of businesses invest in customer experience to improve customer retention. 

Source

Customer experience is your customers’ perception of how your business treats them. The perception that they have of your company can affect their behaviors and build feelings and memories that will make them loyal customers.

If they like how you treat them, they will do business with you for a long time and may even endorse you. There are many things that you can do to make your customers like you.

Here are some effective ways to make your customers like you and your brand:

  • Getting to know your customers and determining their preferences
  • Exceeding your customers’ expectations
  • Communicating regularly with your customers
  • Implementing feedback systems
  • Rewarding your VIP customers
  • Offering fast delivery and easy returns
  • Adopting digital transformation
  • Rewarding your loyal advocates 

Let’s dig into the strategies in detail so that you can implement them to boost customer experience and retain your customers:

Know your customers and determine your preferences

In what can be considered a shocking revelation, a study found a huge gap between companies that think they are offering stellar customer experience (80%) instead of customers who say they received stellar customer service (8%).

Source 

Humans have a strong, natural desire to be understood. If your customers sense that their need is being met, they will opt for your business over other businesses that treat them as merely another customer. 

It is thus crucial to invest time in getting to know your customers and their preferences and build real relationships with them.

Applying intelligent customer engagement is a great way to do that. Tools like Messenger can be used for offering customer service. There are also tools like Drift that will let you talk with your clients while they browse your site.

These engagement channels can help you to gather customer insight and understand them better. You can then work with your customer service teams to discover patterns and react to the insight you create.

Further, you can find out how customers interact with your site using a user behavior tracking tool like Google Analytics. Tools as such can offer you insights, including time on page and bounce rate. 

Once you collect the behavioral data, you will come to know what your audience finds it difficult to understand, what they dislike, and how you can build a more enhanced website experience.

Exceed your customers’ expectations

Exceeding your customers’ expectations is one of the surest ways to retain them. But you should be consistent here. If you can’t meet your customers’ expectations, you may end up losing them. Statistics suggest that after one negative experience, 51% of clients will stop doing business with that company.

Moreover, studies have found out that customers in America tell an average of 15 people about a bad customer service experience, and they tell 11 people about a good experience. 

One way to exceed your customers’ expectations is by personalizing the experience, as in the end, customers make that one purchase as they can relate to some aspects of your brand.

Since no customer is the same, you need to personalize the customer experience by studying their needs and goals. When you build an emotional connection with your customer by communicating with them, you will be able to exceed their expectations consistently.

Another great strategy is to follow up with your customers post-sale. Stay in touch with your customer persistently even after he/she had completed a purchase.

For instance, you can add info on upcoming promotions or offers and send weekly or bi-weekly newsletters. You can also surprise them on their birthday or anniversary with a personalized greeting, perhaps, along with a cake. It will turn a satisfied customer into a happy one. And happy customers are more likely to remain loyal to your brand.

Communicate on a regular basis with your customers

By communicating regularly with your customers, you are showing that you value them. One way to communicate is to provide well-timed updates and progress reports. 

You can also ask for performance feedback through surveys or phone calls. Your customer will feel valued when you ask for their opinion. Don’t forget to implement their suggestions and revise them as required. 

Furthermore, you can recommend new offerings, upgrades, and product or service improvements that will create a better customer experience. Plus, make it a note to say “Thank You” regularly.

Reward your VIP customers

If you are using CRM software, the data collected there can let you know which of your accounts are making you the most profit. These are your VIP customers which you want to retain.

When you know who brings you the most revenue, you will be able to allocate your time and resources more efficiently and increase your cross-selling or upselling odds.

If you have some incentives to give away, utilize them to reward your VIPs. It will increase their loyalty.

Offer fast delivery and easy returns

If you are an e-commerce business, delivery and returns are two of the main consumer concerns. The way you manage the last leg of the delivery process will give you a competitive edge and help you to retain customers.

There will be cases when consumers want to return and replace the product. If you can simplify that process, it will ease your customers’ worries and also encourage them to return to your online store.

Adopting digital transformation

Why digital transformation? One of the main benefits of digital transformation is that it enhances the customer experience. As people become more and more tech-savvy, customers’ demand for multiple touchpoints is growing. Mobile apps, live chat, social media, you name it, and customers want them all as they can improve customer experiences.

Digital transformation also offers the customers manifold options and choices for the products or services they desire to buy. 

And in order for a business to sustain and grow, it needs to identify different groups of buyers and their journeys, educate the customers, get back to them, and follow up. This process allows the businesses to discover the right value to offer the buyers. 

Also, when businesses use tools such as CRM software, CMS, automation, and analytics tools, they are able to deliver a better experience.

Reward your loyal advocates

Customers often take the extra step to recommend your product or service to people in their circle. If your customer is doing that, let them know that you notice and appreciate it.

At the least, say thanks. It reveals that you’re paying attention, and you value their free endorsement.

You can also reward your brand advocates with a referral program. For instance, you can offer your customers a $200 Amazon gift card when they refer a person who turns into a customer.

Wrapping Up

Retaining customers is not easy with the cutthroat competition out there in every industry. However, by following the strategies mentioned in this article, you will be able to form a long-lasting, emotional bond with your customers and retain them.  

Start by understanding your customers, communicate with them regularly, reward your VIP customers, offer fast delivery and easy returns, adopt digital transformation and reward your loyal advocates.

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